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Royal Society Releases Historic Science Papers 83

Posted by kdawson
from the bayes-essay-on-chance-ftw dept.
krou writes "To celebrate its 350th anniversary, the Royal Society has released a number of historic science papers and made them available online via its Trailblazing website. Among the papers are Benjamin Franklin's notes on his kite-flying experiment, a paper on black holes co-written by Professor Stephen Hawking, manuscripts from Sir Isaac Newton showing 'that white light is a mixture of other colours,' and a few other interesting details such as 'a gruesome account of a 17th century blood transfusion.'"
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Royal Society Releases Historic Science Papers

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  • Links? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 30, 2009 @07:09PM (#30277430)

    You know what's cool about the web? Pages can contain hyperlinks to other pages! For example, if you write a post saying that Benjamin Franklin's notes on his kite-flying experiment are available on the web [royalsocie...ishing.org], you can use these fancy "hyperlinks" to help people find the articles!

    Of course, it appears that the articles were already on the web, and the trailblazer website is just a very, very cool index of existing information. But, I think it's required that every slashdot summary contain at least one easily verified and incorrect fact, so that readers will be more engaged with the website and read more advertising.

  • Re:Links? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by haderytn (1232484) on Monday November 30, 2009 @07:12PM (#30277482)
    What advertising?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 30, 2009 @07:42PM (#30277750)

    And how many had the journals they were published in recategorized when they dared to question the received dogma of the day?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 30, 2009 @08:08PM (#30277986)

    Yea great guys. Too bad they have made aggressive legal threats of copyright enforcement against anyone else who distributes other similarly old papers. There are about 40,000 papers in the Philosophical transactions which are old enough to be unconditionally public domain— yet you can't obtain them, at least not without paying a couple bucks a pop to the royal society.

  • by LynnwoodRooster (966895) on Monday November 30, 2009 @08:44PM (#30278234) Journal
    Discuss how consensus rules Science, and how to properly dispose of raw data?
  • by MosesJones (55544) on Monday November 30, 2009 @08:48PM (#30278262) Homepage

    The Royal Society really does typify the content led questioning society that the world used to be. By establishing a body (The Royal Society) with the express intention of enabling that form of dicussion it represented very much a broad view that facts were what moved society forward rather than opinions.

    How far we have fallen from 200 years ago into a world where opinion matters more than facts and where its routine for big companies in particular to hide data that doesn't match the outcome that they want.

    The current pieces around Climate Change are a great example as to how far we have fallen, people with zero background, training or experience in a field are claiming that their opinions are just as valid as someone who are studied a field for 20 years.

    We have people questioning doctors and demanding antibiotics
    We have people believing rubbish like homeopathy because their "opinion" is it works
    We have presidents believing that FAITH in something (WMDs) is more important that actual facts
    We have people questioning evolution because their FAITH says it isn't so

    Hopefully in 100 years our great-grand-children will look back on this as the biggest era of deliberate human stupidy. Its not often the past is actually better but the basis of the Royal Society and indeed the society which it represented 200 years ago is a much more rational and measured one than the FoxNews driven debates of today.

    I often think that Fox News would be firmly on the "gravity denier" side if it had been around at the time of Newton.

  • by MosesJones (55544) on Monday November 30, 2009 @10:45PM (#30279044) Homepage

    The placebo effect is a real thing, and it works better if the placebo is expensive.

    It is indeed real but that doesn't make homeopathy real. I have no problems with the placebo effect or even people who deliberately sell a placebo wrapped in mumbo jumbo what I have is a problem with people selling a placebo who don't have the intellectual honesty to admit its just a placebo.

    The placebo works, homeopathy doesn't.

  • by panthroman (1415081) on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @12:38AM (#30279760) Homepage

    ...how far we have fallen, people with zero background, training or experience in a field are claiming that their opinions are just as valid as someone who are studied a field for 20 years.

    Um... questioning authority is kinda the hallmark of science. I understand what you're saying - science is underappreciated - but empowering people to seek the truth for themselves is what science is!

    The 16th century's Glorious Revolution was society saying "How come we have to believe Galen? I'm [wikipedia.org] gonna dissect some humans myself and see what's inside." We didn't need authority to be our conduit to truth: we could seek truth directly. (At the same time, people were rebelling against needing the Pope as a conduit to God, and voila, Protestantism.)

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